Greece Crisis Deepens, FM Varoufakis Resigns


Athens: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned after Greek voters delivered an overwhelming ‘No’ vote in a referendum on whether to accept more austerity measures in return for new bailout cash.

In a statement published on his personal blog on Monday, Varoufakis said he was stepping down to allow Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to reach a new deal with European creditors.

“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my … ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement,” Varoufakis wrote on his blog.

The announcement came as European Union leaders scrambled for a response on Monday, following the ‘No’ vote on Sunday’s referendum. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were expected to meet in Paris on Monday, after calling for an emergency eurozone summit in a phone conversation after the result of the vote became apparent on Sunday.

EU President Donald Tusk said that the summit would be held on Tuesday, according to the AFP news agency.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker – who had said a Greek “No” would be “no to Europe” was expected to speak to the European Central Bank (ECB) and eurozone finance ministers on Monday.